Has anyone tried using a stopper on a growler filler (http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/growler-filler.html) to help retain the carbonation when filling? My worry is that the pressure buildup would cause the filler to leak at the faucet or get pushed out. I wanted to know if anyone else has tried it before I (potentially) make a mess.
I’ve never filled a growler or used any form of counterpressure for bottling. What I’ve done is shut the C02 off to the keg and purged it until there’s just enough pressure to push the beer out the tap, then carefully and slowly filled the bottle. If done just right, there’s about 1-1 1/2" of head between the beer and the top of the bottle, which purges the oxygen. This has worked well for me and I’ve wound up with good carbonation so far using this method, but I’m sure different folks will have different results depending on their particular serving system and the amount of carbonation in the brew they’re dispensing.
My method has been… I fitted the end of my bottling wand with a 2" piece of beverage tubing, took the spring mechanism off the other end, and slide a stopper on the wand. I can’t remember the size, #2 maybe? Whatever size you would use for a standard bottle. If I put a tiny bit of keg lube on the beverage tubing I’m able to work it into the inside of my Perlick faucet and have never had a single drop leak out. I turn off the CO2, purge, and then set it to 2-3 psi. Slide the wand into a sanitized bottle, gently push the stopper and open the tap. I then pinch the stopper when I need to bleed off pressure. I do this over a towel or tray or something because I like to fill the bottle to the very top, that way when I remove the wand from the bottle the level is perfect. So long story short, I’m able to fill bottles directly from my keezer and all I bought that I didn’t already have was a stopper!
I fill my growlers by first blasting the growler with cold water to get the beer and growler temps matched. Then I fill straight from the tap down the side of the growler until it is full. I have 9-10’ lines so my fill rate is a manageable speed which helps control the foam. I usually get about an inch of foam to cap on top of.
I’ve done this for bottles but I have to unhook my faucet tap and there’s a fair amount of clean up. I like the growler filler since I don’t even have to open up the kegerator and it’s easy to clean. I’m imagining a growler filler with a stopper has the potential to have the ease of the growler filler along with the quality of the method above. I’ll play around with it and see.